Wrestling and the weekend. This is the Wrestling Weekend That Was.
Iowa State's Perfect Weekend
Wrestling is about domination. Iowa State did exactly that against two Big 12 opponents last weekend. The Cyclones posted consecutive shutouts against South Dakota State on Friday and Utah Valley on Saturday.
Going back to victories in the final two matches in the Oklahoma State loss, Iowa State has won 22 consecutive matches in conference duals. Let that soak in. Iowa State hasn’t suffered an individual loss in more than two duals. The feat is impressive, even if it is against two teams with losing records and just one conference dual win between them.
The 14th-ranked Cyclones hit the century mark for team points over the weekend, throttling the Jackrabbits, 47-0, and the Wolverines, 53-0, at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State blanked two straight opponents during the 1972-73 season and the 53 points is tied for third-most in school history. It was the Cyclones’ largest margin of victory in 21 seasons.
Iowa State improved to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big 12. The Cyclones' only losses have been to the second-ranked Cowboys and No. 3 Iowa. Kevin Dresser has accelerated the turnaround in Ames. Still a long way to go, but these results show things are moving in the right direction.
Taylor Lujan's Big Win
Northern Iowa’s Taylor Lujan has become one of the more exciting wrestlers at the NCAA Division I level. His wide-open style has made him a fan favorite and it also makes him a dangerous competitor.
Lujan earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors for a victory over Oklahoma State’s previously fifth-ranked Joe Smith on Friday, scoring a late takedown for a 5-4 decision and his first win over a top-five foe.
The junior 174-pounder is ranked sixth nationally by trackwrestling.com and owns a 21-3 record. This marks the second time this season Lujan has been honored by the conference and the fourth time the award has been given to a Panther.
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Battle of the Burgs
Third-ranked Wartburg and No. 1 Augsburg held their annual rivalry dual last Thursday in Minneapolis, Minn. The Knights recorded their 20th victory of the season, knocking off the National Wrestling Coaches Association NCAA Division III Duals champions, 16-15, on criteria — most match points (47-43).
Wartburg improved to 15-1 this season and retained the Swens-Millboy Belt named after former Augsburg Coach Jeff Swenson and former Wartburg Coach Jim Miller. The Knights have won eight straight “Battle of the Burgs.”
The dual featured 15 ranked wrestlers and saw two NCAA champions lose. Wartburg’s Cross Cannone defeated Augsburg’s Ryan Epps, 8-4, at 157. Each was ranked first in different national polls. Cannone was the 149-pound national champion last season, while Epps is the defending 157 national titlist. Cannone moved to 22-0 and has won 56 straight matches.
Augsburg took an earlier marquee matchup. In a rematch of last year’s NCAA finals, Augsburg’s Sam Bennyhoff recorded a 6-0 win over Wartburg national champion Brock Rathbun at 133.
Western Dubuque wins dual crown
Three teams finished atop the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division dual standings. Western Dubuque defeated Cedar Rapids Prairie, 42-33, on Saturday. The Bobcats' victory left them, Cedar Rapids Prairie and Cedar Falls with a 6-1 conference mark. Cedar Falls beat Western Dubuque earlier in the season, but lost to Prairie.
Don Boscos's bakers dozen
Top-ranked Don Bosco is expected to be one of the contenders for the Class 1A state title in Des Moines. The Dons helped their cause Saturday, advancing 13 of 14 wrestlers to this weekend’s district tournament. Don Bosco had the most qualifiers from an area sectional. Denver had 11 and Lisbon had nine.
In Class 2A, West Delaware and Solon both advanced 12.
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